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Meet the YPD Board

Interested in getting more involved and taking on leadership roles? Click here for info.

Joel Portman, President

Joel is returning for his second year as YPD President and couldn’t be more excited to help grow and improve this awesome organization. Joel believes that YPD has a unique place in our community – by providing opportunities for Jewish young adults to meet, connect and grow through a variety of social, leadership, engagement and philanthropic programs, YPD is investing in young adults today to develop our St. Louis Jewish community’s leaders in the near future. Outside of YPD, Joel works on growth, development and regulatory activities at Centene Corporation. You can also find Joel travelling, volunteering and meeting new people.

Lauren Kraus, Jewish Community

Lauren is a full-time nanny for a family in U City. She lives in the Central West End. In Lauren’s free time, she enjoys hanging out with friends, going to movies and concerts and reading for her book club. As VP of Jewish Community this year, Lauren is super excited to help the whole Jewish community of St. Louis, both young and old, come together!

Justin Krachmalnick, VP of Finance & Evaluation

Justin Krachmalnick joined the YPD Board in 2014, now serving as the VP of Finance & Evaluation. His past YPD roles included co-chair of ROOTS, co-chair of LollapaJEWza and Board Chair of Finance & Evaluation. Outside of YPD, Justin is a CPA at Massie, Fudemberg, Goldberg LLC (MFG). Justin enjoys cheering on the St. Louis Cardinals and the Indiana University Hoosiers, playing tennis and spending time with friends and family. He looks forward to giving back to YPD and continue building a strong St. Louis Jewish community. Through his role on the board, Justin hopes to continue motivating others to get involved and to influence new programming.

Joanna Alper, VP of YPD Live

Joanna Alper is thrilled to join the 2017 YPD Board as Vice President of YPD Live, an annual signature event focused on community and philanthropy. After serving on the inaugural YPD Live committee last year, she is excited to expand the event’s scope and broaden the reach to more young adults throughout St. Louis. Please contact her via email if you’d like to join the planning committee. She looks forward to an exciting and successful year with YPD!


Adam Paull, VP of Social Programming

Adam Paull is a lifelong resident of St. Louis. When he is not rooting on the Cardinals and Blues, you can find him planning his next travel adventure or spending time with his family. As VP of Social Programming, Adam believes the best way to bring the community together is through active and entertaining social functions. He is excited to help people grow their personal and professional networks through meaningful activities. Please feel free to reach out to Adam anytime!

Joshua Deutsch, VP of Engagement

Josh loves meeting new people and making new friends. You will see him at almost every YPD event for that exact reason! Josh is a big animal person, enjoys the outdoors and loves hanging out with his friends and family. He is very excited to be on the board this year for YPD as VP of Engagement. He thinks he will bring many new attributes to the position and will get plenty of chances to meet any new people wanting to learn about YPD and what it has to offer to individuals and the community. Josh is hoping to meet many new people this year so feel free to reach out!

Keith Callen, VP of Leadership Development

Over the years, the Jewish community of St. Louis has given Keith the opportunity to further his Jewish learning and identity. Keith’s background includes being a long-term member of Bnai Amoona, Solomon Schechter Day School, USY, Camp Sabra, and he studied abroad at The Alexander Muss high school in Israel. Keith is looking forward to starting a new chapter with the Jewish community as Vice President of Leadership Development for YPD. He is excited and humbled to represent YPD, and looks forward to building professional relationships with the Jewish community of St. Louis.

Emma Lapp, Secretary

Emma is a St. Louis native working at a college access organization for under-resourced high school students. Emma’s top three favorite foods (in no particular order) are mac and cheese, guacamole, and bagels and lox. Her first YPD event was a happy hour on the roof of the Moonrise Hotel in the Loop. As Secretary, Emma is excited to become more involved in the St. Louis Jewish community and help keep the YPD board connected!


Becca Near, Program Associate

Becca is the staff member for YPD, where she oversees the YPD Board, YPD programming and NextGen engagement. Becca is embarking on her second year with the Jewish Federation of St. Louis and loves the passion and dedication that surrounds her work. You can find Becca doing various things like hiking, traveling, hanging out with friends, watching Game of Thrones with her husband or enjoying time with her family.